Mon ami Maigret - 2
Analyis of the locality
In this novel it is very obvious where the story is situated.
Mister Pyke and Maigret travel to the Isle of Porquerolles.
The isolation of the island population, the agreeable climate and the particular atmosphere of the French "Midi" [3] give this story its own peculiarity.
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Les Tamaris
Georges Simenon first visited Porquerolles in 1926. He loved it straight away and returned whenever he could. In 1935 he bought a country house there, "Les Tamaris" [4], and lived there for 6 months. After that he regularly returned to the island.

Walking from the Inn "l'Arche-de-Noë" [5] on the main plaza to the harbor Maigret and inspector Lachat encounter Mr. Pyke who gets out of the water after a swim. The three men walk on together, exploring the surroundings.
La nuit du
carrefour

"- There's another Englishman on the island, he lives here all-year-round. You can see his country house from here on. It's the one with the minaret next to it...
The Major lives in 'The Minaret' for eight years now. The next residence belongs to M. Emile...
They walked through the sand along the backside of the houses of which the front emerges on the plaza...
- Yet 50 meters and you will see Marcellin's boat.
The port, now, wasn't bordered anymore by the rear of the houses of the plaza, but by country houses, most of which were hidden in greenery.
-This is the residence of M. Emile and his mother. I already told you about 'The Minaret'." [6]
La guinguette
à deux sous
L' inspecteur
Cadavre
Les larmes
de bougie
Vente à la
bougie
La maison
du juge
Mon ami
Maigret - 1
Mon ami
Maigret - 2
Mon ami
Maigret - 3
Pierre Assouline in his Simenon biographical reports about "Les Tamaris":
"It is a remote country house, in the back of the port... But a remarkable feature of the building is the square, ocher-yellow and white, tower, a kind of minaret..." [7]

From this quotations we can conclude that the country house of the major "The Minaret" is the same building as Simenon's home "Les Tamaris".
Maigret à
Vichy
l'Affaire
Saint-Fiacre
L'Auberge aux
noyés
From the descriptions in the novel it is not possible to point out the exact location of the different sites and buildings in relation with each other. So there is too much risk of inaccuracy in drawing a sketch of the surroundings. Moreover in this story such a survey is not at all necessary.
A general outline of the settings must be more than adequate to regenerate the atmosphere of the village that is so invitingly described by Simenon.

The center-points of the action are the harbor where Marcellin is killed and where some significant characters live, on their boats or in the country houses along the shore.
Le notaire de
Châteauneuf
M.Gallet, décédé
Le charretier de
"La Providence"
Chez les
Flamands
Secondly the plaza, Place d'Armes [8]
And finally the Inn l'Arche-de-Noë, where the colorful company of initial suspects, their adherents, villagers and personnel assemble each night.
The harbor
The village of Porquerolles lies on the north side of the island. So does the harbor which is formed by a natural bay prolonged with a pier. Like everything on this tiny territory it is small.
Coming from the village the fishing-port lies on the right hand side (east) and the marina on the left side (west). Therefore it can be supposed that the stately country houses, amongst which "Les Tamaris" or in this case "The Minaret" also are to be found on the western side, as well as the boats of Mrs. Wilcox and Jef de Greef and Anna.
The harbor side is at the most 200 to 300 meters away from the center of the village.
Go to Mon ami Maigret - 3
Images
From top to bottom:
- Postcard Ile de Porquerolles by: Editions S.M.D. CIM - Impressions Combier, 83120 Sainte-Maxime
- Old Postcard Porquerolles, Imp. S.I.R.A. - 83150 Bandol..
- Map Porquerolles: http://www.webuser.rhein-main.net/sabine.reuss/porquero.htm of Sabine Reuss.
- Old postcards Porquerolles: Mediasys - Images de la France d'autrefois.
Notes
(3) Midi (Fr.): "le midi" is a term used for the part of France south of Lyon. Rather then being a geographical determination it describes the characteristics of that part of the country and its differences in nature, people, climate, cuisine, scenery and accent with the North.
(4) Les Tamaris (Fr.): The French Tamarisk is a 2 to 3 m (6 - 9 ft.) high shrub that blossoms in summer with dense bunches of pink flowers. It originates from the Mediterranean area and is very resistant to the dry winds in the region.
(5) L'Arche-de-Noë" (Fr.): Noah's ark.
(6) Georges Simenon, Mon ami Maigret, 1949. Excerpt translated in English by G. de Croock out of: Georges Simenon, Oeuvres complètes XIV, Editions Rencontre, Lausanne, 1968.
(7) Pierre Assouline, Simenon - een biografie, p.145, Uitgeverij De Prom, Baarn, 1992. Excerpt translated in English by G. de Croock.
(8) Place d'Armes (Fr.): Place = plaza, square - (d')armes = arms, weapons.
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La nuit du carrefour - 1, - 2
La guinguette à deux sous - 1, - 2
L' inspecteur Cadavre - 1, - 2, - 3
Les larmes de bougie - 1, - 2
Vente à la bougie - 1, - 2
La maison du juge - 1, - 2, - 3
Mon ami Maigret - 1, - 2, - 3
Maigret à Vichy - 1, - 2
l'Affaire Saint-Fiacre - 1, - 2
l'Auberge aux Noyés - 1, - 2
Le notaire de Chéteauneuf - 1, - 2
M.Gallet, décédé - 1, - 2, - 3
Le charretier de "La Providence" - 1, - 2
Chez les Flamands - 1, - 2